Concerned Over Backlash, Fire at Bloomington Mosque Being Investigated as Hate Crime

July 9, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP

On July 9, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Someone tried to set fire to a mosque early Saturday and the FBI was investigating it as a hate crime, officials said.

No one was inside the Islamic Center of Bloomington when the fire occurred at about 2 a.m. and damage was confined to the kitchen area, said Nathan Ainslie, president of the Islamic Center.

A burned Quran was found outside, he said.

Someone threw a rock through a window, then poured a flammable liquid into the building and ignited it, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said.

The timing of the fire, so soon after Thursday's bombings in London that killed at least 49 people, was suspicious, said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the council. Hooper said his group had been receiving hate e-mail and phone calls since Thursday.

FBI Special Agent Wendy Osborne said agents and members of a Joint Terrorism Task Force were investigating it as a hate crime.

'The FBI takes hate crimes and acts of violence very seriously,' she said."